Wilmington, DE leaders say restoring nature is key to community revitalization

Infusing Wilmington, Delaware‘s urban landscape with nature is key to bringing it into the future, environment and planning leaders said Thursday.

We can have Wilmington light up in green,” said Maria Dziembowska, the cities program director for The Nature Conservancy in Delaware.

Environmentalists and urban planners spoke about their vision for the city at the first event in a speaking series hosted by The Mill, a downtown coworking space, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy.

Wilmington Economic Development Director Jeff Flynn told the audience of several dozen that the city already has natural assets in Rodney Square and Brandywine Park but that “we can’t stop here. If we’re going to connect our urban residents with nature, we have some gaps to fill,” he said.

Flynn discussed the proposed South Wilmington Wetland Restoration and Conservation Project. The planned park, a $23.9 million project that has been in the works for a decade, will provide urban green space and infrastructure for stormwater management.

Oasis Design Group and RK&K won a 2016 Merit Award in Analysis and Planning from Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the firms’ design and planning of South Wilmington Wetlands Park in Wilmington, Delaware, as part of the South Wilmington Wetland Restoration and Conservation Project.

Oasis and RK&K created a master plan for the approximately 30-acre urban wetlands Park that has been touted as a national model by officials at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and others. The firms worked with the City of Wilmington and its stakeholders and led and facilitated public stakeholder meetings.

Image courtesy Oasis Design Group.

See full News Journal article by Christina Jedra.

See fact sheet on wetland restoration project (PDF).

See award announcement for design of wetland park.

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